Today marks quite a milestone: 999 days since I became a mum. And yesterday marked another: Izzy's first day with a childminder. And I'll admit, I'm all at sea. As is the dog for that matter. She's been staring at the front door, whimpering and waiting for Izzy to come home.
This post won't be anything new to all of you out there who have already gone through this, but I still felt like I needed to get my thoughts down on paper. Well, digital paper at least. And who better to share it with than the #Write52 gang?
It has been both an honour and a privilege to share almost every minute of each of the last 999 days with Izzy, barring the odd night away for work here and there. And I know I've been so immensely lucky to have been by her side for quite so long. You see, I carved my business around my little girl long before she was here. I had a plan. I worked hard to build up an awesome client base who have supported me no end since I came back to work when Izzy turned 5 months old and had nailed a glorious 2-hour lunch nap. I'm now able to pick and choose the projects I accept to fit around family life - what more could I possibly want?!
But ever since Izzy started shortening that wonderful nap last summer – and then dropping it completely in December – we've been hurtling towards yesterday's new normal faster than I cared to admit. When the nap first disappeared, Ben was still on leave after his long stint in Japan so we were OK, but when January came around, he had to go back to work and it hit me that I could no longer balance my business and looking after Izzy without any form of childcare.
Now, she's only round the corner (quite literally!) from midday until 3pm Monday to Thursday, but that's still 12 hours a week when I don't quite know what she's up to. And that's an unsettling feeling that will take me a while to get used to, I'm sure. She's a proper chatterbox (I wonder where she gets that from?!) so she'll tell me plenty herself (as she chose to do at midnight last night...zzz...but her brain was clearly buzzing), but it's still not quite the same, is it?
So if you'll allow me, here are a few words for my little girl who is growing up far too fast.
Isobel Rose Worrell
You made me a Mummy 999 days ago.
Some of those days have been long and the nights even longer.
Some of those days have been tough and the nights tougher still.
People talk of "Mummy Guilt" and I used to dismiss it – until you came along.
Guilt for wanting to escape for a few hours.
Guilt for wanting to rush home when I have escaped.
Guilt for shouting at you when you refused to get dressed for the umpteenth time.
Guilt for playing with you when I should have answered an urgent email.
Guilt for answering that urgent email when you wanted to play together.
Guilt for watching you sleep at night and disturbing you as I close the door.
But people forget to mention the utter pride you feel towards your child.
I'm proud of how kind and caring you are.
I'm proud of how fiercely you love others around you.
I'm proud of that brain of yours – although it's bound to catch me out one day.
I'm proud of you.
I'm proud of your Daddy for raising you.
And I'm proud of me for raising you, too.
It's tough. It's exhausting. But it's exhilarating all the same.
We've had fun, haven't we? But now it's time to spread your wings a little wider.
Dream big little one, but please stay little a little while longer.
I love you, Bubba Boo.